Weddings in the time of COVID-19: Jewellery designers like Falguni Mehta and Harit Zaveri on what to expect
Yes, trousseaus are pared down this year, and simplicity, comfort and understated elegance have taken precedence over what will make an impression, when it comes to bridal wear. But what about jewellery? Will wedding accessories follow suit? We spoke to designers and design houses and arrived at some interesting conclusions. Designer Puja Shah of Moi Vibe, Meghna Bhutra of And Noor, and others tell us more.
Raniwala 1881, with a 139-year history, is a go-to jeweller for A-listers like Vidya Balan and Alia Bhatt. The Jaipur-based brand is known for its jadau jewellery, a 1,000-year-old craft. Abhishek Raniwala, from the current generation of the family, talks to us about what to expect this season “This wedding season is all about utility over extravagance with versatile and practical pieces that can be worn on the wedding day and even other occasions. As the Indian wedding season approaches, we are witnessing growing popularity for modular jewellery that can be worn as full-blown necklaces or as separate pieces along with naths, statement earrings, etc,” he reveals.
Nitin Gilara, director at Rambhajo’s, has a different opinion. Nitin finds that with smaller weddings, fewer guests and simpler bridal wear, there is more money to spend on jewellery. “There’s a demand for more expensive and luxurious pieces, because the purchasing power for jewellery has increased significantly,” he says. Statement polki sets that are large and extravagant are trending, as per Nitin’s observation. However, his tip for brides who are aiming for a more complete and well-rounded look is to add a mala of any stone to match the bridal set.
Jewellery designer Puja Shah feels that the millennial bride is a lot more discerning and appreciative of the finer things in life. “Brides-to-be are conscientious and are curating pieces that are versatile and can be broken up into two or three parts,” says Puja, founder and creative head of jewellery label Aurus. Topping her selection of must-have pieces for new brides are a layered necklace, a contemporary choker that can be paired with a heritage heirloom and the Revival Necklace from her fine jewellery vertical, Moi.
Jaipur-based And Noor, helmed by founders Meghna Bhutra and Aashika Dusad, is known for its edgy wedding accessories. Meghna reflects, “Since the guests will be fewer, the focus will be on details.” The lighting that solely focuses on the bride and groom, in a small ceremony, also makes the coloured gemstones used for the wedding statement neckpieces far more relevant now. She feels that preferences have shifted towards pieces that are elegant and slightly less exorbitant. Aashika says choker sets are in high demand as they work well when paired with just a maang tikka.
Harit Zaveri Jewellers
Ahmedabad-based Harit Zaveri Jewellers prides itself on its fine balance of traditional and contemporary on-trend jewellery. But Harit Zaveri, the founder of the brand, shares that brides this year are looking inwards, thinking about what they really want, instead of blindly following trends. “The pandemic has hit everyone differently. Brides want to show off less. They are purchasing for their individual satisfaction,” he says, adding that bridal jewellery this year is less chunky and more attention is being given to quality rather than quantity. “We’re also seeing more and more design-oriented and aesthetically pleasing jewellery being purchased — classic pieces that can be passed on to succeeding generations,” he explains.
Minimalism and subtlety are key this season, says designer Falguni Mehta, whose jewellery has been worn by names like Aditi Rao Hydari and Janhvi Kapoor. “With the world gripped in a state of uncertainty, consumer behaviour has been altered significantly, so they are purchasing jewellery as an investment. I think they will opt for timeless and minimalistic jewellery rather than chunky necklaces and earrings,” she shares. And while lighter and classic bridal sets gain popularity, Falguni feels that brides should also start opting for pieces that are crafted as per their size, shape and facial features. “They must keep the complete bridal look in mind before making a purchase,” she says.
With inputs from Rebecca Vargese and Paulami Sen.